New book – Eastern Province Rugby Legends 1964-1994 available now!

APRIL 8, 2015

Did you know that the Eastern Province (EP) Rugby team played 347 games – won 212, lost 128 and drew 7, between 1964 and 1994? This is just one thing that nostalgic EP Rugby fans will learn from a newly-published book, Eastern Province Rugby Legends 1964-1994.

The well-laid out book takes the reader down memory lane to all the exciting moments at the old Boet Erasmus Stadium and profiles the famous players who made those moments.

Contained are pen pictures of all the players – over 234 of them, and rarely seen action shots of the then stars playing in the team’s famous red and black bands. The book is in Afrikaans and English.

“It took me two years, ten months and ten days this book – that was in November 2014 when I finally finished the book,” says author and passionate rugby fan, Gérann Gerber.

 “I wrote this book because Eastern Province never really got the recognition they deserved – well there was the centenary book that was released, but afterwards there was no record specifically documenting what happened.”

Gerber says that he wrote his book to have more detail than the Centenary book most people are familiar with.

“The centenary book was a once off thing and after that nobody cared, which is why I have written this book – with more detail than even the centenary book. I actually used the same format that Doc Craven used in his tribute; The Legends of Springbok Rugby 1889-1989, but added more in-depth detail to mine,” he describes.

The idea to write the book came to him as he paged through the Centenary book.

“How it started is that, I saw the Centenary book at a local book café and told myself, I would never get a chance to see this book again, so I bought it and went home with it. I paged through the Centenary book and coincidentally Craven’s book was lying next to me. That was when it struck me; ‘Why not release a similar book about Eastern Province?’” Gerber says.

“In the past, one of the players – and former Captain and coach, Stan Terblanche, told me that, back in the day, Eastern province rugby were looked at as nobodies – they were considered the black sheep of South African rugby.

“So with this book, I want people to realise what EP rugby stood for – we have had a couple of Springboks from the Eastern Cape – so people must not forget about the past. We have a new team, EP Kings but that does not mean we forget the past.”

He said that the book is for everyone with interest in rugby, history and anyone who just loves to read a good book – which is why the book is in the format of a ‘coffee table book’.

In his foreword to the book, former EP Rugby President, Professor Koos Vermaak, said the book covers a period “before the professional era, when both officials and players, were part of rugby for the love of the game rather than for monetary gain.

“The move to the new Port Elizabeth Rugby Stadium destroyed this part of the EPRU’s history with the Boet Erasmus Stadium. In the new stadium, there was not room for all the historical photographs, trophies, jerseys, jackets and other memorabilia, reflected by this part of history of the EPRU… For this reason, we are extremely grateful that a young man like Gérann Gerber had the courage of his convictions, to, with great effort and hard work; preserve this lost history of our record. It ensured that a large portion of the EPRU’s history is not forever lost.”

Former EP captain and coach, Stan Terblanche, also paid tribute to Gerber in the book’s prologue.

“It is understandable why Gérann compiled such a unique book, since the rugby blood runs so strongly in the Gerber family veins. His father Gerrie, and his three uncles, Orlando, André and Jeremy, all played provincial rugby in their day.

“The family also made history when three of the four – Gerrie, Orlando and André – played together in a game against the Eastern Free State,” he wrote.

“Gerber not only drove many kilometres in his car, but he also had to send messages into the world to find the necessary information which he needed for every player.

“It was not sunshine and roses and he had to overcome many setbacks due to the fact that everyone involved did not always co-operate.”

Do you also want to have a comprehensive record of EP Rugby history in your bookshelf? Eastern Province Rugby Legends 1964-1994 also makes a great gift for both adults and young rugby fans… Email Gérann at [email protected] or call 041 374 3858 or cell 073 119 8637.